11 Easy Lunches to Lose Weight By Colleen Moody

Stop waiting in line for too-expensive salads or sandwiches that pack on double your daily calorie needs. Our Fitterati and favorite fit bloggers share their best DIY lunch recipes so you can save some cash and lose weight at the same time.

1. Hummus and Roasted Veggie Pizza

Hummus and Roasted Veggie Pizza

1 soft tortilla shell
Handful of your favorite veggies (try spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crumbled goat cheese
1. Roast veggies for about 20 minutes at 350°F with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
2. Top your favorite type of tortilla with hummus (store-bought or homemade), add the roasted veggies and some goat cheese, then bake for 10 minutes at 350°F.
3. Slice and enjoy!

2. Quinoa Edamame Salad

Quinoa Edamame Salad

1/4 cup dry quinoa
1 cup shelled edamame
8-10 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 cup chopped onion
2-3 tablespoons vegetable broth
For the dressing
2 lemons, squeezed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Sprinkle of cumin or black pepper
1. Cook quinoa in a pot with about 1 cup water until it becomes like rice.
2. In a heated pan, pour the vegetable broth and simmer. Add onions, tomatoes, and edamame. Transfer quinoa to heated pan and stir-fry.
3. Add dressing on top and serve. Makes one hearty meal or two smaller portions.

3. 5-Minute Turkey, Avocado, and Hummus Wrap

Turkey, avocado and hummus wrap

1 whole wheat tortilla
2-3 tablespoons red pepper hummus
3 slices low-sodium deli turkey
1/4 avocado, sliced
Pickle slices
Spread tortilla with hummus, then layer on turkey, avocado, and pickle slices. Roll, then slice. Makes 1 wrap.

4. Turkey Chili Taco Soup

Turkey Chili Taco Soup

1 1/3 pounds 99 percent lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
10 ounces RO*TEL Tomatoes and Green Chilies
15 ounces canned or frozen corn, thawed and drained
15 ounces kidney beans, drained
8 ounces tomato sauce
16 ounces fat-free refried beans
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
2 1/2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1. In a large pot, brown turkey on medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, add onions and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, corn, kidney beans, tomato sauce, refried beans, taco seasoning, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
3. Optional: Serve with a few baked tortilla chips and your favorite toppings such as low-fat sour cream, jalapenos, reduced-fat cheese, chopped scallions, onions, or chopped fresh cilantro. Freeze leftovers for individual portions for future meals. Serves 9 with a serving size of 1 1/4 cups.

5. Sweet Tuna Salad

Sweet Tuna Salad

1 can tuna in water, drained
3-4 tablespoon sweet relish
2 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey mustard
Salt and pepper
Optional add-ins: onions, baby carrots, cucumbers, celery, corn, dried cranberries, or chopped grapes
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix together and enjoy on top of a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich or pita, or scooped up with your favorite whole-grain crackers.

6. Pasta 'n' Peas

Peas n? Pasta

2 ounces whole wheat rotini or penne
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil over medium heat.
3. Add garlic to oil and cook until garlic is translucent, being careful not to burn it (lower the heat if needed).
4. Add the peas and cook until heated through.

7. Cheesy Chicken Wrap

Cheesy Chicken Wrap

1 spinach tortilla
1 Laughing Cow Sun Dried Tomato cheese wedge
Sliced deli meat (for an extra kick try Boar's Head Cajun Chicken)
Tomato slices
Fresh spinach leaves
Any other fresh vegetables
1. Spread the Laughing Cow cheese wedge all over the tortilla.
2. Layer fresh spinach leaves on tortilla.
3. On one end, layer the deli meat, along with fresh vegetables.
4. Roll up starting with the end with meat and vegetables.
5. Slice in half and serve.

8. Kicka** Kale Salad

Kicka** Kale Salad

2 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup avocado, chopped
1 handful alfalfa sprouts or pea shoots
1 carrot, chopped
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
Optional: 1/2 apple, chopped, 4 ounces grilled chicken or sliced turkey
2 tablespoons dressing
Dressing Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Toss with dressing and dig in!

9. Mexican Cauliflower "Rice" Bowl

Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl

1 head cauliflower
1/2 red pepper
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 avocado, cubed
1 carrot, diced
Cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste
1. Cut cauliflower and red pepper into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse the pieces until they are the size and consistency of rice.
2. Transfer "rice" to a medium bowl. Top with remaining ingredients and sprinkle with cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.

10. Burrito Salad

Burrito Salad

1 1/2 cups lettuce
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1/3 cup black beans, cooked
1 cup vegetables (try tomatoes, red peppers, onions, or roasted sweet potatoes)
2 tablespoons avocado or guacamole
2 tablespoons salsa
Sprinkle of low-fat cheese
1. Place lettuce in large Tupperware container.
2. Add the rice and beans.
3. Top with your choice of vegetables, plus salsa and cheese (if desired).
4. Eat cold or microwave for 20 seconds and serve.

11. Southwest Chicken Quinoa

Southwest Chicken Quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 pound chicken, cooked and diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups quinoa, cooked
1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup cilantro
1. Sauté vegetables in olive oil until tender.
2. Add the spices and chicken to the vegetable mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Combine quinoa and the vegetable mixture, then stir in Greek yogurt.
4. Last, stir in cilantro and top with salsa.

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